Game On: Hornets @ Hawks

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Published: February 8, 2013
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The Hawks have been a tough nut to crack at home.  Will the Hornets crack or be cracked?

The Hornets were slowly demolished and outworked by the Hawks earlier in the year, but that Hawks team is playing pretty differently from the one that has taken the floor over the last ten games.  While they’ve been highly effective shooting the ball (4th in the league), they have been giving the ball away and failing to crash the offensive glass.(27th and 29th respectively)

Defensively, they’ve only done one thing well – crashing the defensive glass – and have been below average in the league at allowing free throws, committing turnovers, and just in general field goal defense.  The most bizarre number – and one that sadly is not at all in the Hornets favor – is that in their recent home games, opponents earn the 4th lowest number of free throws in the league.  On the road, the Hawks have let opponents earn the 2nd highest number of free throws.  This game, of course, is in Atlanta.

Sigh.

Keys to the game

  • The perimeter defense was a disaster in the previous meeting, and it resulted in the Hornets having to help off Zaza Pachulia all night to contain penetration.  The result was easy look after easy look for the big Georgian.  If Zaza is looking like a scoring machine, the Hornets defense is a wreck.
  • Don’t have Gordon double.  The Hawks get almost all their shooting from the wing – and guys who play the SG a lot with Smith at the SF.  Korver, John Jenkins and Anthony Morrow will make you pay if you double.  No one else on this team has range, so don’t cheat from here.
  • Eric Gordon needs a big night.  The Hawks have solid defenders at every position but the off-guard.  Gordon needs to take advantage of this for the Hornets to coast to a win.

Enjoy the game!

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